Giles Round

25.09.10 - 17.10.10

Giles Round - The Form of the Book

The structure of the English language has an infinite aptitude to mold and distort in the face of new forms of communication and usage. The twenty-six graphemes that make up our modern Latin alphabet have been tested orally and in print throughout the centuries; most recently as a culling in txtspk and rebus, or through the proliferation of a global Panglish

 Fondness for its beauty and flow is surely born out from this continued resilience. 

In The Form of The Book Giles Round references the phonetic alphabets developed by Herbert Bayer, Kurt Schwitters and Jan Tschichold. By shedding unnecessary letters (c, q and z) and merging re-occurring combinations, these artists proposed advancements of the typography in the mid-twentieth century. The subsequent negation of these symbols within contemporary usage and an interest in the moments when such outmoding occurs feature frequently in Round’s practice. For Round these designs point to a moment where type, which had previously overcome architecture through the letterpress, was now being subsumed back into a modern movement where painting was the leading light. ‘the new painting, by which we mean non-representative or abstract painting, originated before the new architecture and the latter could not have been conceived without the former.’

Round redrafts a number of these rejected letters, returning them to an original three-dimensional, metallic form. These objects create a limbo-like state in the space – existing between the page and sculpture, they oscillate from a potential and collapse. Round describes these brass objects as ‘figurants’, or extras, the gallery operates as a ‘typesetters greenroom’ with the ‘ characters’ poised for use. This air of potential and the near obsolete exists as recurring interest for the artist, allowing a shift between the idealism and the continuing potency of design, art and literature to transform our domestic tools and the hazards of allowing the full acceptance of such beliefs.